Engaging with strangers can be a shy person’s worst nightmare, but meeting new people from time to time is inevitable. Whether it’s because of a new job or a new class, there comes a point in everyone’s life when we have to talk to someone we don’t know. This is a normal thing that everyone goes through, but if you’re the type who gets uncomfortable with strangers, it can elicit the worst feeling in the world.
So you find yourself attending a social gathering. Now what? Typically, you go off looking for your friends, but then you find them with a bunch of people you don’t know. Uh-oh. Now you have to decide whether to go to your friends and get introduced, or stay where you are knowing that there is a 90% chance that some random person will eventually approach you. Either way you’re going to come face-to-face with someone you don’t know, and here are the most common things you might go through when having the inevitable meet and greet:
1. Giving Yourself A Pep Talk
First, you tell yourself that you can do this. They’re people just like you so it can’t be that hard to talk to them, right? Besides, this is a good way to practice your networking skills and expand your social circle.
2. Practicing What You're Going To Say
Before engaging, you go through a list of socially acceptable topics to talk about. Then, you rehearse all the possible scenarios in your head at least 10 ten times just to make sure you don’t screw up.
3. Getting Comfortable
After a while, you might find yourself loosening up a bit. You feel more and more relaxed as you get to know them and it gets even better if you find a common interest.
4. Feeling Good About Yourself
When you’ve finally said your goodbyes, you’re probably already congratulating yourself for being able to get out of your shell. You give yourself a pat on the back for successfully making conversation with someone new.
5. Replaying The Event In Your Mind
Before drifting off to sleep, you find yourself happily thinking about your day and how everything went well. BUT WAIT, you might have said something weird or wrong that could have put them off. Now you’re obsessing over every little detail of the entire conversation you had. A few minutes in and you’re wide awake with thoughts like “Why did I even say that?” or “Did I seriously do that in front of them?” These thoughts might be crowding your mind but the best thing to do now is tell yourself to stop overthinking these things. The fact of the matter is that they probably didn’t even notice or didn’t think too much. So just calm down and give yourself a break. You did great!
Can you relate? What other things do you go through when you meet someone new?
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Banner Photography from Bryan Apen at Unsplash, GIFs from Giphy